How to Find the Early Signs of Oral Cancers?

How to Find the Early Signs of Oral Cancers?

May 2, 2022

As per the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, mouth cancer makes up to 3% of all cancer diagnoses every year. Oral cancer can affect the oral cavity or any part of the mouth that is functioning. It includes:

  • Mouth roof.
  • Lips.
  • Mouth area underneath the tongue.
  • Front two-thirds of the tongue.
  • Tissues that line cheeks, teeth, and lips.

Our dental experts perform oral cancer screening in Fort Myers, FL as a part of regular dental check-ups to improve patients’ oral health. It includes evaluating the whole mouth, including lips, neck, and face. It helps in identifying the possible signs of oral cancer.

Early Signs of Mouth Cancer

The early symptoms of mouth cancer are tough to notice. Depending on where it locates, oral cancer can cause many warning signs. Detecting early signs of mouth cancer can help oral cancer dentists in Fort Myers treat it effectively before it gets worse.

Common signs of oral cancer include:

  • Constant coughing.
  • Soreness or irritation in the throat or mouth that does not go away.
  • You feel that something has blocked your throat.
  • Problems while speaking or chewing food.
  • Numbness in the tongue and other regions of the mouth.
  • Neck or jaw swelling.
  • Constant nose bleeding.
  • Difficulty in moving tongue or jaw.
  • Red or white patches on the tongue, gums, mouth lining, or tonsils.
  • Loss of voice and other vocal changes.
  • Constant mouth ache.
  • A lump in the cheek or neck.
  • Constant bad breath.
  • Teeth getting loose.
  • Difficulty in moving tongue or jaw.
  • Weight loss.
  • Earache that doesn’t affect your hearing.

Get immediate medical attention by contacting Dr. Joseph Vanderbosch

if your oral cancer signs stay for more than two weeks.

Types of Oral Cancer

Different types of oral cancer will need diverse treatment plans.

Mouth Cancer Types by Region

If you are a regular alcohol drinker or smoker or have HPV exposure, you are at high risk of oral cancer. It can develop in various areas of your mouth, which include:

a) Tongue

Tongue cancer is the most common oral cancer type in the United States. It develops in the bottom of the tongue and is also known as the throat or oropharyngeal cancer.

Patients face numbness, bleeding, problems while swallowing food, or red slash white patches on the tongue. Tongue cancer spreads to the lymph nodes present within the neck. Its treatment may include eliminating a portion of the tongue surgically.

b) Lip

Cancer on the lip area is both oral cancer and skin cancer. With early detection, the treatment includes surgery without the requirement for chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or elimination of lymph nodes.

The most common lip cancer typically occurs in squamous cells. Lip cancer in advanced stages can lead to the spread of tumors into the jawbone and surrounding tooth nerves. It needs more comprehensive treatment. In such cases, look forward to meeting our emergency dentist near you.

c) Jaw and Gum

Jaw and gum cancer develops in the lower and upper gums. Its causes include chewing tobacco, smoking, or heavy use of alcohol. As this cancer progresses, it occupies the underlying jaw. Its symptoms include gum soreness or cracking, bleeding, etc.

Jaw and gum cancer may need the elimination of some or complete part of the lower or upper jaw bone. If you have advanced jaw and gum cancer, the expert will suggest you have facial reconstruction.

How Does it Spread?

Oral cancers start developing in thin and flat cells known as squamous cells. These cells lie in the gums and lips. Mouth cancers spread differently depending on where it occurs. Cancer cells spread from the mouth to neck, head, and other body parts, including:

  • Lymph nodes in the neck.
  • Salivary glands.
  • Lungs.
  • Brain.
  • Face skin.
  • Muscles covering the mouth.
  • Liver.
  • The bone surrounding the mouth.
  • Bone-in the bottom of the spine and skull.

This process is called Metastasis.

Visit Freedom Dental Ft. Myers Today for Oral Cancer Screening

Mouth cancer can occur in many areas, including gums, the inner lining of cheeks, tongue, soft and hard palate, salivary glands, etc. Understanding how oral cancer develops and spreads allows the dentist office near you to create an effective treatment plan.

Our emergency dentist at Freedom Dental of Fort Myers' office provides all general and cosmetic dental services near you in Fort Myers and residents of the following neighborhoods:

Request an Appointment with a Dentist in Fort Myers